Nearly Zero Energy Buildings (nZEB) are a significant part of the energy efficiency strategy of the European Union. As buildings represent approximately 40% of the final energy use in Europe, the reduction of their energy demand is key for a sustainable future. This paper takes a qualitative approach and presents data about professional and market barriers, as well as the educational market in relation to the implementation of nZEB policies for new and retrofit buildings in 11 European countries. Different levels of policy enactments and market penetration are reported and are generally found to be more advanced in western and central European countries. Furthermore, gender equality is examined in the building sector in relation to nZEB and presents significant gaps, with a more balanced situation reported in southern Europe. The accreditation and targeted education of nZEB experts is still almost non-existent in the examined countries, and the need for training of building professionals is highlighted as a critical missing component of current policy. This research aims to be the first step towards the creation of educational material and programmes as a mean to accelerate the transition to nZEB.
- building professionals skills